Airbnb enthusiasts may no longer love New York quite as much. The city’s latest regulations on renting an apartment or other vacation home for less than 30 days mean that the platform will no longer be an ideal option for most visitors.
Local Law 18, the latest move in a lengthy battle between Airbnb and NYC locals, effectively banned most typical uses of the platform within the city on Tuesday. This policy places extremely strict limitations on how Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, and other short-term rental hosts can operate in NYC, which means that it will no longer be an ideal option for spending a few days or weeks in the city.
While short-term rentals of less than 30 days have technically been banned in New York for quite some time unless the host is present, this policy has been largely unenforceable. Local Law 18 requires hosts to register with the city to legally offer a rental for less than 30 days, with the potential for massive fines if they choose not to do so.
Hosts may only register and list the home they currently live in, which eliminates the ability to own and rent out multiple units. They must also be present when up to two guests are staying, and three or more guests will no longer be allowed to stay under one reservation.
Few visitors to the city will find this arrangement to be an attractive alternative to having a private space with their family, friends, or other travel group. Business travelers will also have far less flexibility to be productive if they are forced to share an apartment with a stranger, which means that most visitors are likely to switch back to hotels and other more traditional accommodations instead of complying with these regulations.
While reducing Airbnb options may be frustrating for travelers, it may be excellent news for those looking to move to NYC. Individual hosts owning dozens of apartments for the sole purpose of short-term renting has long been considered a major contributor to the city’s extremely competitive housing market, and freeing up these spaces may help make it easier to find an apartment to live in at a more reasonable price.